Carl Paladino’s Properties

29 Jun

Later this morning, Alan Bedenko will publish our fisking of this journalistic blowjob of Carl Paladino published in yesterday’s Buffalo Business First. The column, written by Matt Chandler, included a paragraph that I thought required an entirely separate response from Alan’s article.

Going back to the Paladino bashers I’ve listened to over the last 12 months, those engaged in the mud-slinging have never created a single job among them, nor have they ever built anything. Yet their wrath is finely honed in on, among other things, the fact that he had the “arrogance” to put a billboard on one of his buildings overlooking the I-190 attacking the aforementioned Buffalo News.

Now, I know I am just some “angry malcontent” with an ax to grind due to my “overwhelming jealousy”, but I’m not pissed off that he has turned the historic Fairmont Creamery building into, as Alan calls it, “The Carl Paladino Insult Billboardatorium”. I am pissed off that he has neglected that historic building to the point that an emergency demolition order will certainly be in it’s future. Paladino has owned the property since 2001 and has been cited for ten housing court violations as per this article in The Buffalo News by Jim Heaney.

The building was purchased in 2001 by the 5277 Group, a limited liability corporation that Paladino controls. He announced plans to convert the building into apartments or condominiums, but the plans went nowhere, and the building was cited in March 2007 for 10 code violations, including a damaged roof, missing windows, loose bricks, rusty metalwork holding up the billboard and piles of dirt, trash and other litter.

The building was in such poor condition that the city immediately moved the case into Housing Court. Inspectors, in court documents, said the building is “posing a possible fire hazard and [has a] blighting effect on the City of Buffalo.”

Subsequent inspection reports showed no progress until two of the 10 violations were partly corrected in May 2008. While reports note some work to clean up the building’s interior, they repeatedly noted Paladino’s failure to correct most of the code violations and frequently mentioned piles of dirt and other debris and overgrown weeds.

The most-current report, dated Dec. 8 of last year, said only three of the 10 original violations have been corrected, while two others were partly repaired. Among the outstanding violations: missing windows, a deteriorated roof, and loose and falling bricks.

I decided to take a visit to the property yesterday to check on progress and ascertain whether any construction activity could be seen onsite. Unfortunately, the building was found to be in worse shape than it was found at the time of Heaney’s last article. This is what it looked like then:

And this is what it looks like today. It would appear that the top of the building, which faces the Seneca Garden Shed/Slot Machine Emporium is crumbing. Click on all images to “embiggen”.

Also noticed while touring the property is that bricks along the eastern roofline are still falling to the ground.

You can see the piles of blue bricks from the “Rich’s Coffee Rich” sign strewn about the grounds.


As Brian Castner wrote a few months back, The Fairmont Creamery is the embodiment of Buffalo.

No single structure in Buffalo combines as many hopes and failures, or as much political pettiness and small time crumb-scraping, as that poor abandoned building, passed daily by tens of thousands on a main highway artery. A gutted, century-old eight-story brick warehouse, it would be at home nearly anywhere within the city, discarded like much of our industry and left to rot.

It is bounded on four sides by an over-large highway, the newish Elk Lofts, rotting steel of a potential casino, and parking lots, each of which individually could have been chosen as a potential symbol of Buffalo themselves. The former Creamery also lies proximate to HSBC Arena, the stagnant Canalside, and the Cobblestone “District” (two streets and three bars does not make a destination), all in their time touted as indicative of Buffalo’s bright future. Sandwiched as it is between the symbol of Buffalo’s population growth and renewal strategy  (loft living), our infrastructure built for a city of twice the size (highway), and the epitome of the power of the lawsuit by the few to stop the development for the many (casino), it could not lie in a better geographic location for selection in the poll, or for actual redevelopment itself.

And yet it waits, like all of Buffalo, for market conditions to be right for investment. Will it be lofts itself? A hotel? Retail and offices? All of the above? We wait to find out, as we could ask the same question for much of shovel-ready and investment-ready Buffalo.

Mr. Paladino should be held accountable for the shame of this building. Held to account to pay the fines and remedy the myriad building code violations he has allowed to fester for a decade. Instead, he is lauded in the city’s business journal for hanging insulting billboards from this derelict property. Those billboards are middle finger to the denizens of a city desperate for a sign of hope and reinvestment.

The blight on our community is Carl Paladino, too bad the Buffalo Business Journal feels he’s just “misunderstood”.

11 Responses to “Carl Paladino’s Properties”

  1. Brian Castner at 10:24 am #

    I have to admit, I take greater personal umbrage with the throw-away line about the number of jobs his critiquers have created, or amount built (or not). Perhaps we could also draw up a file of the collective economic impact of the WNYMedia tribe, the businesses all of us have run, the local investment, service on boards and non-profits and other general building. Such arrogant ignorance torques me more than it should.

  2. William at 10:48 am #

    Is there any connection between the fact that the most attention wnymedia ever got was from the expose on Paladino’s emails, and your continued hammering?  You both come across as amateurs.  Is there anyone is WNY that hasn’t formed an opinion of Carl Paladino yet?  What impact could Chandler’s article have at this point (or yours, or Alan’s?)?

    Who are you trying to reach or please with this?  It’s suspicious.

    • Alan Bedenko at 10:53 am #

      It’s suspicious? What’s suspicious is two comments from you in close succession at 10:39 am from a Buffalo City Hall IP address.

      We probably come across as amateurs because we are. I don’t know if anyone in WNY has or hasn’t formed an opinion of Paladino yet, but maybe those who support him ought to check themselves. That’s what we hope to do by criticizing articles that figuratively fellate him.

  3. DJ at 10:59 am #

    Carl will have you arrested for trespassing.

  4. MichaelRCaputo at 11:32 am #

    Brian I get what you are saying, and I’m sure WNY Media has contributed to the local economy. But here’s the fact: Carl Paladino has created thousands of jobs in upstate New York. By my count as his campaign manager, likely 10,000 over ten years. You can say what you want about his demeanor, tactics, how he runs his business, or even how he treats his employees. But he created those jobs in a region where doing this is damn near impossible.

    Does job creation absolve him of all blame or put him out of reach of critics? Absolutely not; Chandler was pandering. But it does come into play whenever you criticize a voice in a community comprised of far too many people who would kill for a job.

  5. Brian Wood at 11:47 am #

    Hitler created a lot of jobs. He led the greatest economic turnaround in history before he got led astray by making war and killing Jews. Krupp created lots of jobs. Bayer created lots of jobs (Zyclon B). Stalin created millions of jobs by murdering the millions who had them and promoting or allowing others in their places.

    Ten thousand jobs created by Paladino? I’d like to see some substantiation for that figure.

  6. Brian Castner at 1:01 pm #

    @ Michael – The statement is: never made a single job or built anything. Bullshit. Factually untrue. So my beef is with the article, or really, the premise of the line, and not Paladino. Hell, I’m as close to a Paladino apologist as you’ll find in these parts. Of course he has created tons of jobs. Of course he did them through connections I don’t have – he built and maintained those and played the game. All well and good. But Chandler’s premise, which as you note is pandering and popular, is that until you have created XXX jobs, you aren’t qualified to critique. Or voice your opinion. How many jobs and how many companies is it? Are Rich, Wilmers and Jacobs the only three people allowed to note Paladino’s property violations? Or discuss his gubernatorial campaign? In fact, until Chandler starts to create some jobs, I’m not sure he’s allowed to have an opinion either.

  7. Eric P. at 10:51 pm #

    Demolition by neglect has been a standard Paladino method for many years.  He’ll just wait it out until the demo order and then tear it down, pave it, and use it as parking for the casino.

    @ Michael (comment #6)  BTW, pimps create jobs, too. 

  8. Tony Fracasso at 12:15 pm #

    “Eric P. wrote:

    Demolition by neglect has been a standard Paladino method for many years. He’ll just wait it out until the demo order and then tear it down, pave it, and use it as parking for the casino.”

    Here’s one for you..

    Demolition by high taxation and over spending by our local/state governments on items that do not contribute to our community.

    • Alan Bedenko at 12:32 pm #

      Demolition by high taxation and over spending by our local/state governments on items that do not contribute to our community.

      You don’t get off that easily. You need to explain what taxation or spending prevents Carl Paladino from developing that creamery that he bought and is sitting on. You’re completely ignoring the fact that the property was bought by Carl in anticipation of a casino development, and it’s nothing more than rank land speculation done by the guy who sued to keep the Senecas in the city, so that he could profit via the properties he owns in the Cobblestone area.


  1. The Case for Paladino: Fisked « -

    […] Well, shit, I wish I was rich, too. I’ll tell you, however, what I’d do if I was rich like Carl. I’d make sure my family was taken care of. I’d treat people the way I want to be treated. I’d help the less fortunate – not demonize them. I’d work hard to make sure the properties I owned were kept up in compliance with all relevant health, safety, and building codes. […]

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